Venice Beach Music Fest

Abouth the 2014 Music Fest

Free Music and Arts Festival:
Venice Beach Music Fest 9
Saturday, August 23, 2014

Full day of music, dance, and arts headlined by WILLIE CHAMBERS of the Chambers Brothers, and featuring THE GREG DOUGLASS BAND (with special guest '60s musical legend BARRY "THE FISH" MELTON), blues greats THE KING BROTHERS, ska superstars THE UNTOUCHABLES, reggae heroes JAH FAITH AND THE HASHISHANS, ZEN ROBBI, belly dance, a Samba parade, and MORE, all in the heart of Venice!

VENICE, CA - Back for its ninth year, Venice Beach Music Fest music and arts festival returns to rock the beach with a free, full day of entertainment on Saturday, August 23, 2014, from 11 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Windward Plaza (1 Windward Avenue, between the boardwalk and the bike trail). The festival showcases the best of local and international musical talent, belly dance, a samba parade, independent artists and authors, and more. The festival is free and open to the public. An after-show party with more musical entertainment immediately follows at Danny's Venice.

This year's festivities include a vast array of musical offerings. VBMF9 is proud to welcome back Willie Chambers of the legendary Chambers Brothers as this year's headliner! Samba Da Mudanca dance and drum troupe kicks off the festivities at 11 a.m. with a samba parade down Ocean Front Walk, and a nonstop day of music follows on the Ocean Stage, featuring: Roots Collective (multi-genre world beat);The Greg Douglass Band (guitarist from Steve Miller Band, Van Morrison) with special guest Barry "The Fish" Melton (of Country Joe and The Fish); Jah Faith and The Hashishans (reggae); Zen Robbi (swing/funk fusion); The Untouchables (ska); and The King Brothers (blues). Musical sets will be interspersed with dance performances by Samba Da Mudanca and Ya Harissa Bellydance Theater. Visit for more details on VBMF9 performers (also see Band and Artist Bios at the end of this press release).

VBMF9 is proud to support the arts by hosting an art show that is free for independent artists. Visual artists showing their works include internationally recognized artists art by sky, Audrey McNamara, RaRa SuperStar, Brian Mylius, Paula Celzo, Brandy Orvis, and more TBA. Venice author Steve Bevilacqua will be signing copies of his book, Kafka at the Beach: A Layman's Handbook for Those Falsely Accused of Felonies. Angel City Brewery will be set up with games, giveaways, and the ACB Canvas Project, a community art project. Eclectic Hoops will have hoops available for play and purchase. Mystic Rainbow will have their amazing tie-dye clothing for sale at the merchandise booth, where they will also be providing free samples of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. The festival is proud to provide space for local nonprofit organizations such as the Venice Art Crawl and the Free Venice Beachhead to share community information.

An after-party will be hosted by Danny's Venice (23 Windward Avenue) from 7:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. Musical acts performing at the after party include: Gumbo Brothers, Hi-Stereo, and Milo Gonzalez and Friends with special guest Chuck Dukowski (of Black Flag). Gonzalez and Dukowski regularly perform together in CD6, The Chuck Dukowski Sextet.

This free festival is made possible by support from local and national businesses that continue to prove their dedication to preserving the arts in our community. Thank you to: Venice Beach Suites & Hotel, Al & Ed's Autosound Marina Del Rey, The Sidewalk Cafe, Venice Boardwalk Association, Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom, Danny's Venice, Angel City Brewery, Volcano Tea House, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Fresh Brothers, Galactic Drifter, Maui and Sons Venice Beach, Bartels' Harley-Davidson, Free Venice Beachhead, Whole Foods Venice, Venice Paparazzi, Zelda's Corner Deli, Animal House, Moses Jewelry, and Venice Breeze Suites.

For almost a decade, Venice Beach Music Fest has grown along with its sister festival, Venice Spring Fling, to become a beloved annual community event featuring local and world-class musical and artistic talent. Previous festivals have included incredible live performances by Barry "The Fish" Melton (Country Joe and The Fish); Chuck Dukowski (Black Flag); John Norwood Fisher, Angelo Moore, and Walter Kibby (Fishbone); violin virtuoso Lili Haydn; Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns); Matt Abts (Gov't Mule); and Michael Hinton (Merl Saunders and the Rainforest Band). Local arts advocate and producer Milton Rosenberg says, "We are dedicated to preserving Abbot Kinney's vision of Venice as a place to enjoy world class arts and entertainment at the beach."

Visit for additional information. Connect with the community at This event is endorsed by the Venice Chamber of Commerce.

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Festival Performers: 6:00 p.m. - WILLIE CHAMBERS - True to the spirit of "Time Has Come Today," the Chambers Brothers' 1968 timeless hit that launched the four-sibling vocal ensemble to global superstardom, Willie Chambers continues to bring energy and inspiration to audiences everywhere, whether he's playing rock-and-roll or the Mississippi gospel music that first inspired him and his brothers to write, record, and perform. In the years before The Chambers Brothers achieved household-name status-which came via a string of Big Apple appearances circa 1965 where they were introduced by Bob Dylan-they were a Southern church born-and-bred group that, like their West Coast contemporaries Sly and the Family Stone, shattered racial and musical divides to forge an incendiary fusion of soul, funk, gospel, blues, and rock. With his brother Joe, Willie Chambers co-wrote "Time Has Come Today," an 11-minute psychedelic soul epic that has become a hallmark of the era and has been used on over 100 film and TV soundtracks, including Oliver Stone's The Doors, Spike Lee's Crooklyn, and Girl, Interrupted. The Chambers Brothers' additional global smashes "People Get Ready," "Can't Turn You Loose," and "Love, Peace and Happiness," remain classics today. Armed with the love, peace, and happiness he carries in his heart, Willie Chambers continues his magnetic performances that convey the message that the people of the world can live together as one. Venice Beach Music Fest 9 is proud to welcome headliner Willie Chambers back to the Ocean Stage in 2014!

5:00 p.m. - THE KING BROTHERS - The King Brothers' passion and visceral interpretation of the blues attracts fans from all walks of life! Rather than relying solely on tried-and-true Blues stylings, which they inherited naturally from second cousins and blues legends Freddy and Albert King, Sam and Lee King are establishing a new standard. "It's danceable, it's rock-flavored, funk-flavored, and gospel-flavored," explains Lee. "I don't know a damn thing about picking cotton; I don't drink whiskey; I don't dip snuff; I don't fit any of those blues-man stereotypes...I do blues the way I see it." Raised in the San Francisco Bay area, the brothers have been playing together for 30 years. With Lee on guitar and Sam on drums, the brothers began by performing in and winning elementary school talent shows. Later, Lee went on to play with Ike Turner, Big Joe Turner, Freddie King and Albert King, while Sam toured with Albert King, recording the landmark Blues at Sunrise album, and appearing in the movie Crossroads. The brothers had a successful live performance career that was highlighted by appearances on television and radio. In 1992, Albert King presented "adopted cousin" Lee King with his prize guitar, Lucy, a Flying V that was commissioned for Albert by ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons. Lee was greatly moved. "He passed the torch. It's a very special instrument: the finest guitar I've ever played," he says. But even with all of their history with the Blues' finest, the King Brothers are moving forward with their own unique approach to the music, rather than imitation. Original lyrics and taut instrumental arrangements are the hallmarks of their critically acclaimed debut album, Turnin' Up the Heat (Vent Records), which features thirteen original hits, including "'Bout to Lose My Mind" and "Treat Her Like a Lady." The name King is synonymous with the Blues, and the King Brothers definitely live up to that name, carrying on the tradition and taking it one step further. A warm welcome to the King Brothers for their debut performance at Venice Beach Music Fest!

4:00 p.m. - THE UNTOUCHABLES - Los Angeles: 1980 - the members of The Untouchables didn't realize that by 1981 they'd be in the middle of a dream come true: a mod revival in the city, of which they were the center, influencing a nationwide ska revival. Kids all over the city danced for hours to singles like "Twist-n-Shake" with its b-side, "Dance Beat" (released on their own Dancebeat label in 1982), and 1983's "Tropical Bird" with its b-side, "The General." The liner notes for their Cool Beginnings: Rare & Unreleased 1981-1983 album notes of their years at the Roxy, "Color barriers were smashed as black and white youths came from neighboring cities and counties to join the mod revival in unity, harmony and ska." The band's first 12" was a six-song EP ('84), Live & Let Dance, that included originals like "Free Yourself," "Lebanon," and a cover of the Monkees' "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone." By '84 the band had appeared in the movies Repo Man and Surf II. Their first full-length LP, Wild Child, came in 1985, and gave the band several UK hits. The Untouchables have shared stages with The B-52's, Black Uhuru, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and X, and were the impetus for bands such as Fishbone, early No Doubt, Skeletones and Let's Go Bowling. Venice Beach Music Fest 9 is honored to host a return engagement to the Ocean Stage by The Untouchables!

3:00 p.m. - ZEN ROBBI - For nearly eight years, the titanic trio that is Zen Robbi has been terrorizing audiences across America with their rambunctious funk straight outta Long Beach. Led by the notorious pirate captain Mic Dangerously (guitar), Scott Wittenberg (drums) and Timmy "Too Tall" Baker (bass) are the backbone of a sound that fuses rock, soul, swing, jazz, and funk. They've ripped the roof off of all major venues in the L.A. area, amassing a following of loyal Zen Heads along the way. While releasing four full-length albums: Company (2005), Pawn Gone King (2007), Heavy Lies The Crown (2010), and Lovely in the Middle: An Acoustic Collection (2012), Zen Robbi has found time to share the stage with The Smashing Pumpkins, Barrington Levy, The English Beat, Ras MG of Sublime, Fergie, and many others. Their music has been featured on MTV, FOX, and on action sports networks. It only takes one show to see that these guys truly are the Kings of California! VBMF9 welcomes Zen Robbi for their debut performance at the festival.

2:50 p.m. - YA HARISSA BELLYDANCE THEATER - Encore performance. 2:00 p.m. - JAH FAITH AND THE HASHISHANS -The Hashishans' gritty and soulful sound has earned them respect as one of California's fastest growing reggae bands. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Jah Faith is one of Los Angeles' most notable reggae performers, known for his hit video "Bun a One" and his residency at the internationally celebrated Dub Club. Jah Faith joined with the Hashishans in El Monte, California, in 2012, and they have since been committed to spreading the Rastafarian movement through uplifting, conscious music and lively performances. They have performed live on KSPC's reggae radio show (hosted by Junior Francis), and on stage with Israel Vibration, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Inner Circle, Don Carlos, and many more. This year, the Hashishans are celebrating the release of their first EP, Hashishans 2014 Bootlegs, a compilation of several recording sessions with various Los Angeles producers. VBMF9 welcomes Jah Faith and the Hashishans to the Ocean Stage!

1:50 p.m. - YA HARISSA BELLYDANCE THEATER - Ya Harissa Bellydance Theater is one of the most exciting Middle Eastern dance companies in Southern California. Its repertory merges the ethnic and folkloric traditions of the Middle East and North Africa with a strong theatrical flair using traditional music, dramatic costumes, and distinctive choreographies. Directed by Amaya Mattei, and based in Venice with a company of 15 talented dancers, Ya Harissa transports its audiences to other times and places. The ladies of Ya Harissa are veterans of the Venice Beach Music Fest and are welcomed back for several more intriguing dance sets in front of the Ocean Stage in 2014!

12:30 p.m. - GREG DOUGLASS BAND - Greg Douglass started playing guitar in 1968 and his band, Country Weather, shared the stage with Sly & The Family Stone, Santana, and others at the Fillmore and the Avalon Ballrooms in San Francisco. Greg went on to play and write with Van Morrison, Hot Tuna, Peter Rowan, Eddie Money, Tom Fogerty, and The Steve Miller Band (he co-wrote the #1 hit, "Jungle Love"). His guitar playing has contributed to five platinum albums, denoting the sale of 13 million units. Currently Greg tours with the Greg Douglass Band, The Monsters of Classic Rock, Deva Premal, and The Former Members (members of Country Joe & The Fish and the Blues Project). After having guested with Barry 'The Fish" Melton for Melton's set at the recent Venice Spring Fling 2014, Douglass is back with his own band, which features Rose Cox on vocals and guitar, Hector Toro on drums and vocals, Joe Hastings on bass and vocals, and special guest Barry "The Fish" Melton! This will be a set to remember at Venice Beach Music Fest 9! Welcome, Greg Douglass Band!

11:30 a.m. - ROOTS COLLECTIVE - Come explore a rich mixture of reggae, dub, ska, cumbia, funk, soul, and bossa nova with Roots Collective! Beginning as an open mic house band for Soup Kitchen Inc.'s Irie Tuesday in Pomona, this ensemble flourished in the communal vibe, becoming the resident band at Rockers on 1st for over a year and moving on to a weekly residency at Alibi's in Corona. The current lineup has helped break Roots Collective out of a strictly traditional Jamaican roots reggae format, and includes longtime friends and band mates Anthony "CAsoulnova" Ramirez (Benny & the Gardners, Downbeat Allstars) on soulful psychedelic guitar and vocals, and Luis "Upriser" Flores (Jah abiding citizens, Grand Marquis) on Latin jazz-influenced guitar. Filling out the band are guitarist Greg Hernandez (Mezklah Mezklah, Concepto Tambor), bassist Robert Campos (Buen Estar, La Santa Maria), percussionist Terrell Smith (Fountain of Roots, One Drop Redemption), drummer Tyrone Rudolph (Christafari, One Drop Redemption) and vocalist Milan Wills "Mickey Taelor" (Soul Motion), who interweaves influences from Billy Holiday, Lauren Hill, and Erykah Badu. Roots Collective embodies a diverse sound that not one genre can describe. True to their name, they embrace musical roots of all nations. VBMF9 extends a warm welcome to Roots Collective for their performance on the Ocean Stage in 2014.

11:00 a.m. - SAMBA DA MUDANCA - The festival begins with a samba drum and dance parade down Ocean Front Walk, led by Samba da Mudanca (Samba for Change)! "Mudanca" is Portuguese for "Change," and Samba da Mudanca performs throughout California to help raise awareness for positive, environmental, and progressive events. Come share and celebrate group drumming and dancing in a fun and supportive environment-come Samba for positive change in the world! Venice Beach Music fest 9 welcomes back Samba Da Mudanca for another fun performance.

Festival Artists: art by sky: "Painting is an expression of my connection to the universe, the present moment, and all that is. My paintings express my love of nature, beauty, light, and color. Painting is where I give thanks for all the beauty, joy, and abundance of the universe. I believe in a world of joy, peace, love, and good will to all beings. Painting gives this world focus for me. It is my hope and belief that this joy and love is transferred to all who see my paintings. May they touch the light in you! EN-JOY."

Audrey McNamara: Born in Denver, Colorado, in the summer of 1982, Audrey McNamara showed signs of a talent for art at a very young age. As a child, drawing was pure play for Audrey and she spent many hours up at her drawing table, tool in hand. During her teenage years the artist nonchalantly won school awards and baffled her instructors, but she cared little for school and, as soon as Audrey could leave the confines of formal education, she did. In 2003, Audrey had her first solo art exhibition at Mutiny Now Gallery in Denver. Many more shows were to follow as she tirelessly pursued her path up the ranks of showing her art in bookstores and coffeeshops, and doing menial jobs such as interior painting and technical sketches to pay the way. By the time Audrey was enrolling herself in Denver's Emily Griffith Institution of Vocation and Design, she was a working full time as a freelance artist. Her education in fashion design helped mold the signature style Audrey's art carries today. At the dawn of 2009, Audrey moved to Los Angeles to expand her pool of opportunity. She now holds a curating position in Venice, California, while she travels the United States with her art, doing illustration, street vending, and murals.

RaRa SuperStar: "Most people want to know how I started to paint... I was in New York, trying to find myself. I was sleeping on the Brooklyn Bridge with my drum and my suitcase and I met an artist named Pep. I spent 7 nights on the bridge. People would come and bring me food and drinks and all kinds of kind gestures. Even the people who sold fruits and cakes in Manhattan three times/week saw me living on the bridge and they all gave me free food. I would drum all day and only leave the bridge to eat and use the restroom. I got to know the joggers, tourists, and the people who commuted every morning. They would see me still asleep with my drum in my arms, on the bench. It was hard, but I birthed myself and in my darkest moment, Pep showed up and offered me a night at his house to rest and eat; I went. I was amazed from the moment I walked in his house. He painted on all the walls and there were nudes hanging on the walls everywhere. He lived with his agent who sold his art to his buddies he worked with on Wall Street. It was a flash, and I wanted to be an artist from that moment on. I called a friend to wire me money for a bus ticket, and then I went to Detroit and hit the lottery. My daughter and I bought art supplies and painted my first picture together." Since then, RaRa has been selling Art on Venice beach for 14 years. He is now a true art superstar, regularly traveling to residencies in Japan, Holland, Italy, Jamaica, Africa, New York City, Miami, and elsewhere.

Brian Mylius: Brian Mylius is the resident artist at 20 Westminster Avenue, otherwise known as "The Bordello." He has been selling art in Venice for almost fifteen years and is recognized internationally. Brian's art is a curious mix of surrealism and modern realism, and his main subjects are aircraft and otherworldly realms. Brian is a founder of the Westminster Arts Club, a monthly art show and musical performance at Beyond Baroque.

Paula Celzo: "I act upon my curiosity about things, which includes culture, arts, people, colors, and places. That's one of the reasons why I like experimenting; I always seek new experiences and adventures. I am currently a graphic designer and a surf instructor. Years from now, I see myself being engaged with colors."

Brandy Orvis: The artist's perspective on her multi-media series, 'The Show Must Go On' (oil, acrylic, charcoal, paper, lots of soul): "Being a woman dominated by a masculine society, [I ask], Where do I fit in? We wear masks and perform in a male-dominated world. Sex sells. No matter how we feel, we wear our masks and continue day to day, performing. The girls start in chalk and even some stay in that natural element while the ladies painted in man-made acrylic move to the front, in the spotlight. Being curvy and natural doesn't fit the standard, or sell. Breaking out of the masculine box...becoming the feminine: the mother, lover, caregiver, healer. Parallelism, mirrored glances; we see each other the way we feel and think about ourselves, as we are all connected. We are each other. Multi-dimensional beings, existing in the same space, completely unaware of the other dimension or of each other. Seeing women as who they are, rather than what you think they should be. A celebration of women, by a woman. From my own view: loving myself, loving you. We are each other. One."

Steve Bevilacqua (author): Local author Steve Bevilacqua will be signing copies of his book, Kafka at the Beach: A Layman's Handbook for Those Falsely Accused of Felonies. The book tells the true story of a Venice hit-and-run accident that snowballs into a year-long legal ordeal with false charges, mandatory prison sentences, and court-ordered therapy, which is finally resolved in the most unlikely of places: on national TV, at the hands of our modern-day Solomon, Judge Judy. Bevilacqua's book is a must-read: a shocking-yet-hilarious tour of America's justice systems, both real and televised. Come get your signed copy at Venice Beach Music Fest 9!

After-Show Musicians (At Danny's Venice):

7:30 p.m. THE GUMBO BROTHERS: This Venice-based quartet is bringing their infectious, booty movin' bayou grooves to swamp-funk fans throughout the world! Over the last twelve years, The Gumbo Brothers have firmly rooted themselves in the musical and cultural traditions of New Orleans. The band is based in Los Angeles, California, with weekly performances at various local venues and events. Recently, the band performed "Keep It Raw" on the CBS television show, NCIS. The Gumbo Brothers have performed at the KJAZZ "Hollywood and Highland" and "Howard Hughes Center" concert series, and the Santa Monica Pier "Twilight Dance" series' televised summer concert. In 2013, the band was chosen to represent the USA and New Orleans in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at The Lanna World Music Festival. Since 2003, they have been entertaining the Venice community with an annual Mardi Gras parade on the boardwalk including a traditional brass band, funky drum corps, stilt walkers, dancers, and costumed bead-throwing revelers. The band's debut CD, Funky Freedom, was released in 2007. It was followed up in 2008 by The Gumbo Brothers On Fire, a collection of original Mardi Gras songs. In 2008, they were involved in the creation and release of The Gumbo Family Holiday Album, a collection of holiday songs that benefited Students Run LA, which mentors at-risk youth to stay in school through goal-setting and fitness programs. They are currently working hard on their next CD, Chicken Gumbo, a funky, instrumental mixture of original grooves. Dedicated to exploring the traditions of funk, soul, jazz, and R&B, The Gumbo Brothers cite The Meters, Dr. John, War, James Brown, The Dirty Dozen, Galactic, and Walter "Wolfman" Washington, as some of their influences. The Gumbo Brothers are: Johann Stein (guitar/vox), Greg Sonnier (bass/vox), Trevor Steer (organ), John Montgomery (drums), Jamelle Williams (trumpet), and Matt DeMerritt (sax).

9 p.m. HI-STEREO: HI-Stereo formed in Venice of August 2006, and have since continued breaking on through to the other side! Striving to be a conduit beyond themselves, preconceptions, or ego, HI-Stereo's spectrum statement of sound registers eclectic. Their 'practice' consists of free flowing frequencies that migrate into songs. Crescendo, dynamics, and dissonance are key attributes to this collage of soundscape. Groovy rifts, psychedelic licks, and backdoor kick give way to their own cosmic shift. HI-Stereo is: Ryan Monelli on drums, Christopher Norris on bass, Patrick Brennan on guit, Danny Luegers on guit, and Peter Seume on diaphragm. HI-Stereo are celebrating the release of their debut album, Prism Wisdom.

11 p.m. MILO GONZALEZ AND FRIENDS WITH SPECIAL GUEST CHUCK DUKOWSKI: Heads up - this will be a very special performance by some of Venice's most eclectic and talented musicians ! Local residents Gonzalez and Dukowski are family members who often perform together in the Chuck Dukowski Sextet (CD6), led by Dukowski, a founding member and former bassist of the seminal punk band, Black Flag. Gonzalez regularly performs with Insects Vs. Robots, shredding on guitar and performing yogic contortions onstage. They will be joined by Hailey Demian on bass and Tony Peluso on drums for a "big, psychedelic ball of craziness," according to Gonzalez. Prepare for an experimental and groundbreaking soundscape!

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